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The Do’s and Don’ts of Twitter

Written by UKWDA on 03 August 2012

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Twitter, the micro-blogging service founded in 2006, now has more than 140 million active users* posting more than 340 million tweets every day.

Despite its huge popularity, many businesses are still not using this powerful communications tool to converse with their customers – and many of those who do use it are not doing so effectively. To help your business get the most out of Twitter, we’ve put together a list of our top Twitter DO’s and DON’Ts.

 

Don’t over-tweet – be selective and only tweet a few times a day, but do make sure you tweet at least a few times a week to avoid becoming stale.

Do keep it brief – you don’t have to use all 140 characters (as satisfying as it may be!).

Don’t use poor spelling or grammar – it’s a real turn-off to many people and it’s easy to spell check your tweets before posting. Also keep abbreviations, exclamation marks, CAPS and smiley faces to a minimum.

Do have a meaningful profile – an informative but concise bio will help other users find and follow you.

Don’t buy followers – there are several services offering to get you thousands of followers for a few dollars, and they will – but these aren't real followers, they're robot accounts, so it’s pointless. It’s also pathetic, so don’t do it.

Do be selective about who you follow – don’t just follow someone for the sake of it or because they’ve asked you. Follow accounts that are genuinely interesting or useful to you.

Don’t delegate– many smaller businesses make the mistake of letting a junior employee operate their corporate Twitter account. You wouldn’t let them manage your advertising campaigns or write your radio commercials, so don’t let them write your tweets!

Do ensure you’re logged into the right Twitter account – this might seem obvious but most people running a Twitter account for their business also have a personal Twitter account. So, before you hit the tweet button – double check which account you’re using.

Don’t over-promote your business – ask yourself “would I really want to read this” before posting it. If the answer’s no, don’t post it.

Do reply to tweets – even if they’re negative, but don’t get into a dispute. Offer to help and ask them to contact you directly to keep the discussion private.

Do help people – answer questions, offer advice where appropriate, and be nice.

Don’t get too personal – twitter is an informal way to communicate, but don’t think that means your followers want to know about your personal life. Keep it professional, but friendly.

Do share special offers – reward your followers with exclusive discounts and special deals. An easy way to do this is to include a ‘coupon code’ in the tweet that can be used on your website.

Don’t ask people to follow you – it’s creepy and only one notch down from approaching a stranger and asking them to be your friend.

Do add a profile photo or logo – leaving the default twitter avatar on your profile is lazy and you’ll risk looking like a spam account.

Do be careful what you say – remember, everyone can read your tweets even if they’re not following you so don’t say something you might regret.

Do link your Twitter account with your other social networks – this will help you reach a wider audience and find new and relevant followers.

Do share your Twitter ID – remember to include it on your business stationery, email footers, websites, newsletters and brochures.

 

*As of March 2012, Twitter had 500 million total registered users of which 140 million were active. http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/twitter-active-total-users_b17655


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